My Favorite Essential Travel Beauty Products.

Essential Travel Beauty Products

As an avid traveler, I have my travel beauty routine down to a science, more or less. I like to travel as light as possible. Partially because of the 3-1-1 liquid rule for air travel, partially because I almost always carry-on… space is limited! My beauty routine is definitely more pared down when I travel but I do have my must-haves, so we’re going to chat about those today. I will say that one of the best travel tips I’ve received is to have dedicated travel beauty products. There are items that live in my personal item permanently, and then I always have a toiletry bag and a small makeup kit pre-packed with everything I need. If I am traveling and I run out of something, I make a note and then when I return, I replace the item so that I won’t accidentally forget and not have something I need on my next trip!

I also save samples I get for my trips! I love samples and hoard them. The tiny sizes don’t take up a lot of space plus it gives me an opportunity to test and try new things while I’m away.

PS – this is the best bag for toiletries! Also, some current travel favorites.

Essential Travel Beauty Products

Let’s talk specifics! These are my personal travel beauty essentials.


Even though I receive (and buy) quite a bit of full size products for my blog, I always save the samples! Any time I get a facial or make a beauty purchase I always ask for samples, and then I stash them away for my travels. it sounds silly but I get excited when I have special samples to test out on my next trip (for example, the Biologique samples pictured above that came in my last Rescue Beauty order!).

A small bottle of The Rich Cream

You know that this is my favorite moisturizer pretty much ever, of all time… it is probably the only beauty product I get stressed out about not having. Even with a minimal skin care routine, I need this. Need it, lol. As a dry skinned person in their forties, I just need it. I can’t explain it (well I can, read my Augustinus Bader review). I just wish that they would make the travel sized version refillable!

Travel size dry shampoo

If I plan my travel correctly I will get a blowout / style my own hair the morning of (or the day before) I leave. I am not fussy about dry shampoo, for the most part. If I have a sample of something I will use that. But if I am going shopping, my favorite dry shampoo is from Klorane. This one! I like it because it doesn’t feel gritty the way a lot of dry shampoos can feel.

Merit’s Stick Foundation/Concealer

I keep my makeup kit very edited (it’s small!) and definitely don’t want to deal with liquid foundation when I travel. Even if I have something where I might be photographed. Merit’s sticks (Sand is my usual color!) do the trick! These are a travel makeup bag essential! I like that the coverage is buildable, I can apply it with my fingers (no need to worry about packing a special brush), and it wears very well.

Jones Road Beauty Face Pencil

I love these concealer pencils for the same reason that I love the Merit stick. It is small and does not take up a lot of space in my makeup bag. Is it the best concealer I have ever used? Definitely not. Is it super convenient? Absolutely yes. You can read more about this one in my Jones Road Beauty review but this guy lives inside my travel makeup bag.

Facial Cleanser

I always have a small container of Elemis’s cleansing balm. I received a small jar in a gift with purchase (truly: I am a hoarder of small sized products!), and now I just fill it back up from the bigger jar I keep at home. This is my favorite cleanser to travel with as it smells like a spa and makes doing your skin care feel so luxurious. There’s nothing better than washing my face with it after a long flight. Just opening the jar relaxes me a bit!

Shampoo and Conditioner

I really try to not have to wash my hair while I am away (it is such a hassle!). Generally I bring a sample but I really love these Briogeo minis — conveniently packaged in a nice little mini set with a travel sized version of everything you need.


Because it’s practically the law: if I do not pack tweezers, an errant hair will pop up somewhere. Always!!!

Inside my personal item:

I broke these out separately as I have been caught without essential items before and it stinks. This is not a huge deal, you can always run to the drugstore, but it’s inconvenient. These are the items that always live inside a small pouch inside of my personal item so that I will never be without them.

Rhode Peptide Lip Treatment

This is my current favorite lip product. It gives glossy dewy lips that aren’t sticky, and it has real skincare benefits — especially for hydrating and plumping the lips. I liken it to U Beauty’s lip plasma. They are extremely similar but this is a fraction of the price and it tastes better. I am not monogamous with lip balms but I really love this one and keep one inside my personal item always.

Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask

I love love love this mask (and I really love that it doesn’t feel like you are wearing a mask. It’s super hydrating and amazing for long flights. A little goes a long way. Hit the backs of your hands while you are at it!

Goop’s face balm

This face balm is the greatest, especially for a long flight. And if you are stranded without your full bag of tricks, you can use it as makeshift cleansing balm, or a salve for dry elbows and knees, etc. On a long flight I will sometimes skip makeup and coat my face with a thin layer to keep my skin from drying out. (This would be in lieu of the Summer Fridays mask and may not be the best idea if you have oily skin, I have very dry skin!). I really love this.

Extra Hair Ties

Always. I lose my mind a little bit if I don’t have a hair tie handy.


Right now, Necessaire’s deodorant is my go-to. I definitely switch up my deodorants as I find they stop (and start working!). I love this one and the subtle eucalyptus scent.

Hand Sanitizer

My current favorite is Megababe! I love this one. It smells nice, it’s affordable, just a great product. A fun tip I learned is that if you are extra shiny spritzing just a little bit of this onto a tissue can double as a an oil absorbing blotting paper. The more you know!

Travel dental kit

This lives in my personal item after having my luggage lost once. Now, I always have a toothbrush, floss, and travel size toothpaste at the ready. Similar to deodorant, you just don’t want to be lost without these things!

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  1. Ann:

    I would love it if you would do a write up on getting ready to go on a trip abroad and what to pack. Basically the entire process such as getting pre-check at the airport, is it worth it etc….

    3.19.24 Reply
  2. Erin:

    Love a slimmed down routine for travel! Since coming to SoCal I’ve found myself bringing a detox/anti mineral shampoo as well. The water is so hard here, so I bring a travel sized detox shampoo to take advantage of softer water at my destination (or if travelling locally, to keep hard water deposits from building up!) my hair is much happier and healthier for it!

    3.20.24 Reply
  3. Rebecca:

    Such a helpful post! I also hoard samples – currently waiting to board a flight and have a mini Laneige water cream moisturizer sample for the weekend. When you cleanse with the Elemis balm, do you use something after (when traveling)? Any suggestions for a second cleanse/morning cleanser? Thanks!

    3.22.24 Reply
    • When I’m traveling lately I’ve just been doing the elemis! I also tend to wear less makeup when I travel so that helps.

      3.22.24 Reply